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Hauptbahnhof

Hauptbahnhof

When I told my mother that I was writing this speech about the family, she told me of her experience on October 29, 1938. On that night, my mother was baby-sitting for two year old Alex Zuckerman. Mr. Zuckerman was out of town on business and Mrs. Zuckerman was out for a while. The Zuckermans were Polish Jews. They had not become citizens of Germany even though they had lived there for years. The Zuckermans were considered by the Nazis to be "Stateless Jews." The Gestapo came that evening to take the boy and his mother away. Mrs. Zuckerman was still not at home yet when the Gestapo arrived. My mother made a point of telling me that she made sure that the little boy had his boots on, as the Gestapo were going to take him away wearing only his slippers. Meanwhile, Mrs. Zuckerman came home and was taken away with her son. The readon the Gestapo came that night was because they had arrested Mr. Zuckerman at the train station. My mother was told that she had to go to the train station to identify Mr. Zuckerman. She was allowed to go home first and my grandfather said that he would not let her go alone, so he went with her. My mother was forced to identify Mr. Zuckerman or the Nazis would also have taken my mother and my grandfather. The Zuckermans, as "Stateless Jews", were taken at once to the Polish border to an area where Jews were unwanted by both the Germans and the Poles. My mother and my Opa Karl were marched to the police station for questioning. They were followed by two Gestapo officers who warned them that if they tried to run, they would be shot. They finally got back home at about midnight. My Oma Julchen had been terrified that she would never see her husband or eldest daughter again.